MMD president Nevers Mumba says President-Elect Hakainde Hichilema should emulate former president Levy Mwanawasa during his first 100 days in office by dealing with the country’s debt crisis, high inflation and deteriorating exchange rate.

And Mumba asked Zambians to be patient as President-Elect Hakainde Hichilema and his team fixes the nation.

In a statement, Monday, Mumba said when he met the President-Elect on Sunday, he asked him to use his experience to rebrand government and negotiate with lenders on possible restructuring of the country’s sovereign debt.

“Yesterday, we paid a courtesy call on our newly elected President-Elect of the Republic of Zambia, His Excellency Mr Hakainde Hichilema at his ‘Community House’ in New Kasama. In our discussion, we did formally congratulate him, again, on his resounding and well-earned victory that gave him a national mandate across all demographics in the just-ended election. We did further indicate to him that we expect that the first 100 days of his Presidency, that begins tomorrow, after his inauguration will strongly mirror the story of President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa and the MMD in 2001,” Mumba said.

“With both administrations trying to navigate a serious national Debt Crisis, high inflation and a deteriorating exchange rate, both dealing with a public outcry against the high cost of living, high unemployment and both taking over the Presidency after a regime that was considered very corrupt. We know that the new President, with years of successes in the boardroom negotiating corporate restructure and change management can draw governing lessons about how to rebrand the government, restructure our civil service, negotiate with lenders on possible restructure of our sovereign debt so as to free up funds that can be directly invested into provision of essential services and place us back on a long road to recovery.”

Mumba also advised Hichilema to focus on delivering his election promises.

“In our meeting, we did advise the President-Elect to focus on delivering on his election promises to the voters. To seek ways of truly unifying the nation and to carefully navigate the social divisions that had characterised political rhetoric towards the end of the PF era, and to carefully choose a team he can trust to help him govern the nation, in line with the positive aspirations of the people,” Mumba said.

“This is also the Presidency that we expect to execute the shedding off of the old UNIP-era mindset by embracing the voices and aspirations of a growing electorate of young and diverse Zambians who want to turn our nation from a typical third world nation onto one of the fastest developing nations on earth through transformational leadership.”

Meanwhile, Mumba called on Zambians to exercise patience as the new government begins its work.

“As the New Hope MMD, we have fought in the trenches and now look back at the bitter lessons that have shaped the last ten years. We believe that we now have a friend in State House who shares the same values we hold true, of fairness, justice, and development for all Zambians regardless of affiliation, gender, tribe or indeed belief systems,” said Mumba.

“We have pledged to provide positive engagement with this government and we urge all Zambians to exercise patience as the new President and his team try to put in place a new approach to governing and to fix our nation. We shall remain relevant by fostering intelligent, insightful and timely checks and balances to this government as required.”